The Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation (SEIA) has issued countermeasures for a change to the 2024 Worldwide Constructing Code that would enhance the prices and inspection necessities of ground-mounted photo voltaic tasks.
FEMA has proposed elevating the risk category for ground-mounted photo voltaic from danger class I — which incorporates buildings that symbolize a “low hazard to human life within the occasion of failure,” like storage services and agricultural buildings — to class IV, that are “designated as important services and buildings the place lack of operate represents a considerable hazard to occupants or customers,” in accordance with the IBC. Among the many constructions in class IV are first responder services, public utilities and power-generating stations, which would come with PV photo voltaic.
SEIA argues that the leap in danger classes might enhance the fabric make-up of photo voltaic racking and modules vital to satisfy that stage of inspection standards, thus driving up manufacturing and challenge prices. FEMA’s proposal comes shortly after the passage of the Inflation Discount Act, federal laws that features long-sought renewals for photo voltaic funding tax credit and new manufacturing tax credit meant to bolster home manufacturing.
“It is a gross overreach,” wrote Abby Hopper, CEO and president of SEIA, in a blog post. “There isn’t a prolonged report of irreparable injury to photo voltaic arrays from increased seismic, wind or snow hundreds, and there’s no justification for these overly burdensome codes.
“In observe, this code change will make most photo voltaic and storage tasks too pricey to construct, which is able to weaken the grid and cease clear vitality improvement in its tracks — all with none advantages to dependable electrical service,” she continued.
SEIA’s rebuttal to FEMA’s proposal (IBC S76-22) requests that photo voltaic photovoltaic services are as an alternative positioned in danger class II (S79-22 and S81-22), which consists of different low-risk constructions. The group argues that photo voltaic arrays pose little danger to individuals and proceed to supply energy by means of excessive climate occasions and pure disasters.
SEIA is addressing a letter to the Worldwide Council Code calling for the rejection of S76-22 and approval of S79-22 and S81-22.